Seattle Chefs’ Favorite Mother’s Day Desserts

With Mother’s Day coming up this weekend, we asked three local chefs to share a favorite sweet that their moms made for them growing up, recipe included--in case you’re looking for a homemade gift for your own mother that’s steeped in nostalgia and vetted by pros.

From Ethan Stowell, Restaurateur:

“My parents weren’t much of dessert people, but whenever we had guests over for dinner my mom made, what my brothers and I called, the ‘jiggly dessert.’ We loved it! It was a frozen sour cream panna cotta that she made in a bronze fruit basket mold. She’d pull it out of the freezer and serve it with cranberry compote. Kind of a perfect 1970s dessert!”

“The Jiggly Dessert Recipe”


3 cups heavy cream

1 cup sour cream

1 cup sugar

1 vanilla bean split and scraped

½ Grand Marnier

4 sheets gelatin, softened in cold water

Directions: Bring the cream, sour cream, vanilla bean, Grand Marnier, and sugar to a bowl and then immediately turn off. Add gelatin to the mixture and whisk until all ingredients are thoroughly combined, about a minute or two. Strain mixture through a fine mesh strainer and place in the copper fruit basket mold of your choice. Chill until set, preferably overnight. Serve with the fruit compote of your choice.

From Autumn Martin, Owner Hot Cakes Molten Chocolate Cakery:

"My mom has been making this freezer jelly for as long as I can remember and she learned from her grandmother. She takes so much care to remove every seed, making this jelly perfectly clear. The simplicity of ingredients and the lack of cooking make it the brightest flavored fruit jelly I have ever tasted. Growing up, our favorite use for this jelly was inside a crepe topped with powdered sugar, the butter and jelly dripping out the ends!"

“Raspberry Freezer Jelly Recipe”


2 cups crushed raspberries

4 cups sugar

1 pouch Certo Fruit Pectin

2 tbsp. fresh lemon juice

Directions: Sanitize approximately 6 4 to 8 ounce jars and lids with boiling water – although to dry thoroughly. Crush raspberries one layer at a time. I put them through a chinoix lined with 5 layers of cheesecloth. Help the raspberries through the cheesecloth by carefully and slowly squeezing. Place the strained, seedless raspberries into a bowl large enough to fit the sugar too. Add the sugar and stir. Let stand for 10 minutes then continue to stir until most of the sugar is dissolved. Mix pectin and lemon juice. Add the pectin to the raspberry and sugar mixture and stir about three minutes until sugar is dissolved and no longer really grainy. Some sugar crystals remain which is normal. Fill jars, being careful not to get rim of jars messy. Leave ½ inch of space from the top of the jar. Wipe off edges and immediately cover with the lids. Let the filled jars stand for 24 hours. You can store in the refrigerator up to three weeks or freeze the jelly for up to one year.

For the crepes, use your favorite recipe. Martin likes the one from the old edition of the Joy of Cooking.

From Sam Crannell, Chef/Owner Lloyd Martin:

"My mom couldn’t cook much at all: think pork chops turned to hockey pucks. But she did make great chocolate chip cookies. She would change some of the measurements of a standard Tollhouse recipe and sub some of the flour with oatmeal, all of which would create a more cakey cookie that was a little different then standard. One day my dad made homemade vanilla bean ice cream and I snuck into the freezer (even though he told me not to) and wedged in there were ice cream sandwiches with my mom’s cookies and my dad’s ice cream: my first real ice cream sandwich! These inspired the ones that I put on LloydMartin’s menu in the summer."

“Candy Boyer’s Cookie Recipe”

Cookie Ingredients

3 cups all purpose flour

1 tsp. baking soda

1 tsp. salt

2 softened sticks of butter

3/4 cup sugar

3/4 cup light brown sugar

1 tsp. vanilla extract

2 large eggs

2 cups of Ghirardelli 60% chocolate chips

Approximately 2 cups of ground up oatmeal

Directions: Put flour, salt, baking soda in one bowl. Put ground oatmeal alone in a bowl. Beat softened (not melted, room temp) butter, eggs and vanilla till creamy. Slowly add bowl flour, baking soda, and salt. Add chocolate chips. While mixing, add the ground oatmeal until the dough gets tacky and barely sticks to fingers. Put into clumps approximately 1 1/2 in diameter, about 2 inches apart on a greased cookie sheet (with butter). Place in pre-heated 350 degree oven for around 10 minutes, until lightly golden, but still soft in the middle. They shouldn’t get flat, if they do, add more oatmeal to rest of batter.

“Sam’s Double Vanilla Chip Ice-cream” Recipe

Ice Cream Ingredients

2 cups whole milk

2 cups heavy cream

8 eggs

1 tsp. kosher salt

1cup sugar

2 vanilla beans scraped

1 tbsp. vanilla extract

1 dark chocolate bar chopped into small pieces

Directions: Add milk, cream, sugar, salt, beans and vanilla to a pot bring to a simmer and take

off heat, Wisk eggs until pale yellow and slowly add milk mixture to eggs whisking, strain through cheesecloth or chinos. Let chill 12 hours. Mix in ice cream maker to manufacture directions when done add chocolate and build sandwiches or freeze until ready to use.E

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